Burglars ‘targeted the vulnerable’

Convicted - Curtis Smith.
Convicted - Curtis Smith.

POLICE advise Dearne residents to remain wary of doorstep callers, after two men were jailed for distraction burglaries in the Dearne.

Elderly people in particular should be vigilant, and only open their doors to family and friends still, police advised this week.

Traveller Sailey Price.

Traveller Sailey Price.

Last week, at Sheffield Crown Court, 36-year old traveller Sailey Price from the Barnsley area, and 21-year old Curtis Smith from Cudworth were together locked up for 10 years after pleading guilty to distraction burglaries.

Price was sentenced to three counts of distraction burglary and was handed a prison sentence of five years six months, for crimes committed at Mexborough Road, Bolton-on-Dearne and elsewhere. Smith got five years after he pleaded guilty to a Rotherham burglary and had three other offences taken in to consideration.

The offences formed part of the Operation Rocker series committed between September 2011 and May 2012 across South Yorkshire, Humberside, West Yorkshire, Hampshire and Nottinghamshire areas.

The men would charm their way into the homes of elderly and vulnerable people by making them think they were there to carry out legitimate roofing repairs. They would ask to go into the loft, with one distracting the householder whilst the other stole cash or jewellery.

Property that was generally cash and jewellery in excess of £15,000 was stolen.

Acting DI Steve Brookes, who led the investigation said: “I am personally satisfied with the sentences which will provide an effective deterrent to this type of offending. These are despicable offences planned and targeted against some of the most vulnerable members of society. We must do everything we can to stamp it out.” If anyone has any information about similar crimes they should call South Yorkshire Police on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.